By Woodrow Wilcox
I want to tell you about the second fattest case file in my office. It is two inches thick with medical bills, my letters to correct medical bills, and other papers. The file is about a woman who was 88 years old and recently passed away. She lived in Valparaiso, Indiana.
A couple years ago, her husband phoned me to complain that her medical bills were not being paid properly. Her husband is a year older than she, but in better health. He wanted to know why her Medicare supplement insurance was not paying the bills. I asked him to send me whatever paperwork he had about the bills and I would check on it for him.
The problem with this elderly man was that he wanted to read every letter about his wife’s care, but then he would misplace the letters. After his daughter got involved, the flow of paperwork to me made it easier for me to help because then I was receiving all the pieces of the puzzle to solve the billing problems.
There were many billing problems. All of the billing problems were caused by one of two things: (1) Medicare failed to send vital information to the Medicare supplement insurance company so that the claims could be paid, or (2) the hospital in Illinois failed to file the claim properly with Medicare and caused Medicare to deny the claim.
The last letter that I sent for them to correct a billing error saved the couple $667.91. Without reviewing the file for every detail, I estimate that I saved the elderly couple over $5,000 by stopping attempts to collect wrongful medical bills.
In working with the elderly man, I was impressed by his love for his wife. It was sweet that the elderly man thought and acted like a knight protecting his damsel. He wanted his wife to have the care that she needed and that she be treated with dignity and respect. At the same time, he did not want others to harm his marriage, his family, or his children by sending wrongful bills to them. He is a noble man. Her husband really loved her.